Information about others’ success in remembering is frequently available. For example, students taking an exam may assess its difficulty by monitoring when others turn in their exams. In two experiments, we investigated how rememberers use this information to guide recall. Participants studied paired associates, some semantically related (and thus easier to retrieve) and some unrelated (and thus harder). During a subsequent cued recall test, participants viewed fictive information about an opponent’s accuracy on each item. In Experiment 1, participants responded to each cue once before seeing the opponent’s performance and once afterwards. Participants reconsidered their responses least often when the opponent’s accuracy matched the item difficulty (easy items the opponent recalled, hard items the opponent forgot) and most often when the opponent’s accuracy and the item difficulty mismatched. When participants responded only after seeing the opponent’s performance (Experiment 2), the same mismatch conditions that led to reconsideration even produced superior recall. These results suggest that rememberers monitor whether others’ knowledge states accord or conflict with their own experience, and that this information shifts how they interrogate their memory and what they recall.
- collaborative inhibition
- cued recall
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- General Psychology